Billie Jo hates fire, and we certainly can't blame her. Evidently, it's been invading her life as a not-so-friendly reminder of her troubles of the last year. Everything is also super dry because it apparently hasn't rained at all, so that doesn't help.
First, there's a fire at school. Billie Jo is upset because when they return to school, kids are making jokes about it while she's terrified to even go back inside.
Then, three boxcars in the train yard catch on fire and are completely destroyed. Back at school, the boxcar fire is the trending topic among students, which makes fire even more unavoidable for poor Billie Jo.
She does say, though, that even though she can hear all the conversations about it, people are courteous enough to not talk about it to her face.